The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Shape of Things to Come, Take Two

Seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote about the crap we're going to be subjected to if Clinton gets the nomination. Well, what should I come across today evidence that it's already waist-deep. I just wish I'd come up with that clever title. Worth quoting at length:

Unsurprisingly, this was reported in The New York Times by Patrick Healy, a reporter whose obsession with Clinton's sex life long ago tipped into the pathological. Notice, too, the language used: Hillary delivered what's clearly a joke with "a touch of humor," suggesting that she was, beneath a thin membrane of levity, dead serious. Then, after the fourth question, her voice goes "low," indicating that the reporter has hit too close to home, and Hillary's strained jocularity can't hide the touchy bitterness resting inches beneath the surface. And now, here comes The Politico's Ben Smith, showing that when it comes to HRC, his new publication will be no less insipid and devoted to BS pop-psychology than its lumbering predecessors:
[Hillary's joke] wasn't revealing because she was suggesting her husband is "evil and bad."

It was revealing because -- asked about dealing with evil men like Osama bin Laden -- her mind seemed to go to her domestic enemies. It's absurd to suggest that she thinks Bill is evil like Osama. But Kenneth Starr? Rick Santorum? Her joke suggests that she buys into the notion that American and Middle Eastern "zealots" are cut from the same cloth, an idea that dovetails with her belief that there was (and is) a right-wing conspiracy to destroy the Clintons.[...]

And so her joke doesn't tell you how she'll govern. But it does tell you how deeply inimical she still feels to elements of the American right, how little she has forgiven.

Smith's evidence for this interpretation? Squat. Nothing. Nada. Hillary never mentioned Rick Santorum -- who she routinely cosponsored Senate legislation with -- or Ken Starr. She didn't mention the right at all. She appears, on the face of it, to have sought a moment of playfulness with her own history, and to have been roundly and widely punished for the slip. Indeed, there's little sadder than her eventual protests, -- "I thought I was funny. You guys keep telling me, lighten up, be fun. Now I get a little funny, and I’m being psychoanalyzed.” -- which suggest she understands exactly how tight a bind she's in. If she seeks moments of humor or spontaneity, the press will devolve into endless psycho-analyses and bullshit resuscitations of old narratives. If she doesn't, they'll repeatedly bemoan her lack of authenticity.

Also of note, in case anyone's forgotten the way the press wallowed in often-imaginary Clinton 'scandals,' just have a look at this piece, which takes us back to the heady days of Bill Clinton being accused of cocaine-smuggling and murder on national television. It also recalls the first Bush's campaign and the notorious Willie Horton ad-- it seems that Arkansas' Mike Huckabee has a similar past: "a convicted rapist who was released under heavy pressure from governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and subsequently raped and murdered at least one and probably two women." Though he's considered a longshot, I can already hear the right screaming that such despicable accusations must be off limits lest the Loony Left and their co-conspirators in the media "coarsen the tone of civil debate." Fine, but surely the politician called 'the other man from Hope' has to be involved in all that drug running and assassination that was going on right in his back yard.